The World Will See Me No More — John 14:19

John 14:19 Yet a little while, and the world will see me no more; but you will see me. Because I live [referring to his resurrection], you will live also [reckonedly regenerated in this age, and actually in the resurrection].

In John 14:19, although Jesus’ words are directly to Philip, Jesus is evidently speaking to his apostles in general, when he said: “you [plural] will behold me.” When Jesus said “you”, the pronoun in the Greek is plural, signifying that he was not simply addressing Philip (John 14:9), but all of the eleven apostles. All of the eleven apostles will be members of the joint-heirs with Christ, receiving spiritual bodies in the resurrection as Jesus now has, and thus will be able to see, or behold, Jesus’ own glorious spiritual body. The world will never have that ability.

Nevertheless,  Jesus made many appearances to his 11 faithful apostles (as well as to other disciples) before his ascension (Acts 1:3; 1 Corinthians 15:4-8), but the world never saw him again after his death and burial, and will never physically see him again.

Additionally, the remaining 11 apostles will live again in the last day (John 6:39,40,44,54), and will further see Jesus then, not as a human being, but in his exalted glory of a heavenly, spirit being, the glory of a celestial (heavenly), spiritual body (1 Corinthians 15:40,45), and this is what we believe that Jesus is specifically referencing. The world, being raised to life on the earthly, physical plane, will never ever physically see or behold Jesus’ magnificent glory, although they will see his glory in its kingdom physical manifestations all over the earth.

Also, the believers in this age are allowed to spiritually “see” Jesus with varying degrees of understanding, while the present evil world (Galatians 1:4) cannot appreciably see Jesus at all due to the blinding influence of Satan. (2 Corinthians 4:4; Revelation 12:9) In the age to come, however, the blinding influence and the covering vail of darkness will have been removed when the mountain of God’s kingdom fills the earth (Isaiah 2:2-4; 25:7; 29:18; Revelation 20:1-3), so that those who in this age do not believe will, in that last day of judgment be able “see” Jesus, not literally, but with the symbolic “eyes” of understanding that will no longer be symbolically blinded. — Isaiah 2:2-4; 26:9; John 12:47,48.

Now, however, neither the world nor the church will ever again see Jesus in the flesh. Why not? Because he sacrificed his flesh once for all time. He never takes it back, nor does he have any reason to take it back. If he should take that flesh back, then the sacrifice would become void, for in order to completely fulfill the condemnation upon Adam, Jesus’ humanity has to be dead forever. The very purpose of Jesus’ becoming flesh was to sacrifice that flesh for the sin of the world. Having presented that flesh, his body, in sacrifice after his ascension, he has no need to ever again become flesh.

The apostle Paul calls attention to the difference between heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, and declares that they have different glories. (1 Corinthians 15:40) He tells us that the first Adam was made a living soul, a human being, but that our redeemer, he who came from heaven, who humbled himself, and took the earthly nature — “for the suffering of death” (Hebrews 2:9) — being foreshadowed by sinless Adam (Romans 5:14), and being crowned with the earthly glory as was sinless Adam (Psalm 8:5; Hebrews 2:9). Jesus’ body of was prepared by his God, without the taint of sin or condemnation in Adam. (Hebrews 10:5) But Jesus did not remain flesh, for he offered his earthly glory, his flesh, his body, in sacrifice for the church and the world. (John 6:51; Hebrews 10:10; 1 John 2:2) What we need to remember is what Jesus sacrificed, what he offered to his God, was human life and all that pertains to it. Jesus did not die for spirit beings; he died for human beings, the “all” that are dying in Adam. — 1 Corinthians 15:21,22; Romans 5:12- 19.

John tells us of Jesus that “in him was life, and the life was the light of men.” (John 1:4) What does this mean, that in Jesus, as a human “was life”? John 9:5 and 2 Timothy 1:10 give us a clue. Since Jesus, unlike Adam, was totally obedient, his sinless human life offered light to the dying race of mankind. Thus Jesus said: “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” (John 9:5, New King James version) The good news is that Jesus came with a sinless human life that he could offer in sacrifice to his God on man’s behalf in order to atone for the sin of the world. Thus Jesus, while a man, possessed life, and by his continued obedience brought life and incorruption to light. (2 Timothy 1:10) Jesus condemned sin in the flesh by showing that a sinless, incorrupt human can obey God’s laws. — Romans 8:3; 2 Timothy 1:10.
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See: How God’s Son Condemned Sin the Flesh

Jesus, as a human, as most know the scriptures say, was without sin. (2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 7:26; 1 Peterr 2:22-24; 1 John 3:5) Unlike dying mankind, while Jesus was in the days of his flesh (Hebrews 5:7), Jesus had life, thus in him was life! (John 1:4) How thankful we can be that the great Logos, the Word of God, the only direct living creation of God, the one through whom all life was made, when the offer was made, and the “joy set before him,” said to his God, “Lo I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me) to do thy will, 0 God.” (John 1:1-3, Diaglott Literal; Hebrews 10:7; 12:2; Revelation 3:14). The life and personality of the Logos was then transferred and he became the babe of Bethlehem. “He was made flesh and being found in fashion [likeness] as a man [sinful flesh –Romans 8:3] he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross [stauros].” – John 1:14; Philippians 2:8; Hebrews 2:14.

Jesus’ human body was not prepared from sinful human stock, but Jesus says of his God: “But a body did you prepare for me.” (Hebrews 10:5) It is thus this sinless human body, having sinless life, that Jesus willingly offered in sacrifice. (Hebrews 10:10) Yes, in Jesus was life — human life, crowned with the glory of a sinless man, who by remaining obedient to his God (Philippians 2:8) never fell short of the glory of God. — Romans 3:23; Hebrews 2:9.

Thus seen, what did Jesus sacrifice?

He gave his humanity — including his body of flesh — as an offsetting price, which sacrifice he formally presented to his God as priest after his ascension. – – Hebrews 8:4; 9:24-26; 10:10.

1) Jesus gave his blood in sacrifice.

Matthew 26:28 – for this is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the remission of sins.

Mark 14:24 – He said to them, “This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many.

Luke 22:20 – He took the cup in like manner after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, that which is poured out for you.

Acts 20:28 – Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God which he obtained with the blood of his own Son. – Revised Standard Version.

Romans 5:9 – Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we will be saved from God’s wrath through him.

Ephesians 1:7 – in whom we have our redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.

However, what does blood represent? Jesus’ human soul, which he also gave in sacrifice.

Leviticus 17:11 – For the life [Hebrew, nephesh – soul] of the flesh is in the blood.

Deuteronomy 12:23 – The blood is the life [Hebrew, nephesh – soul].

The human soul consists of the body made from the dust of the ground and the neshamah, representing the activation of the body by spirit of life as received from God. — Genesis 2:7.

2) Yes, Jesus did sacrifice his human body: He thus was not raised as a human, but as a spirit being, with a spiritual body.

Hebrews 10:10 by which will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Hebrews 10:11 Every priest indeed stands day by day ministering and often offering the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins,
Hebrews 10:12 but he, when he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
Hebrews 10:13 henceforth expecting until his enemies to be made the footstool of his feet.
Hebrews 10:14 For by one offering he has perfected forever those who are sanctified.

Luke 22:19 He took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and gave to them, saying, “This is *my body which is given [as an offering in sacrifice to God – Ephesians 5:2; Hebrews 9:14] for you*. Do this in memory of me.”

3) Jesus sacrificed his flesh:

John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down out of heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. Yes, the bread which I will give is my flesh, for the life of the world.

4) Jesus sacrificed his human soul:

Matthew 20:28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life [soul] as a ransom [price to offset] for many.

Isaiah 53:12 He *poured out his soul* to death, and was numbered with the transgressors: yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

He died; he was totally dead, ceased to be sentient, else there has been no ransom. His body was given in sacrifice. (Hebrews 10:10; Luke 22:19) Jesus’ soul — his human sentiency — was given in sacrifice (Ecclesiastes 9:5) and went into sheol, where there is no work, device, knowledge or wisdom, and wherein one cannot give thanks to, or praise to, Yahweh. (Isaiah 53:12; Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45; Ecclesiastes 9:10; Psalm 6:5; Isaiah 38:18) Jesus’ human blood — which represents his human soul/being (Leviticus 17:11; Deuteronomy 12:23) — was given in sacrifice. (Mark 14:24; Acts 20:28; Hebrews 9:14) Thus his soul — his being — as raised, made alive, from the oblivious condition of sheol was no longer human, but spirit, with a spiritual, not a physical, body.

Once we realize that the human soul consists of the body of flesh activated by the neshamah, or spirit of life from God (Genesis 2:7), we can see how Jesus gave his entire humanity in sacrifice; he is no longer in the days of his flesh, and the world will never again literally see Jesus, either in the flesh, or in his heavenly glory. — Hebrews 5:7.

What, then, about Revelation 1:7?

Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, including those who pierced him. All the tribes of the earth will mourn over him. Even so, Amen.

“Every eye shall see him” (Revelation 1:7) is widely accepted as proof that Christ will return visibly. The book of Revelation however, is full of symbology, and we believe that “eye” and “see” here is speaking symbolically. We know Jesus said , “The world seeth me NO MORE” (John 14:19). The Bible does not contradict itself! Any reasoning student of the Bible will admit that the book of Revelation is a book of symbols. It cannot be literally interpreted. Why should a person then insist that this one verse must be?

The “eye” in Revelation 1:7 is symbolical and refers to mental perception or the “eye” of understanding (Job 42:5). At first Christ appears only as clouds of darkness, trouble, suffering, tribulation, as a roaring of the sea. (Isaiah 5:30; Zephaniah 1:15; Luke 21:25) The world symbolically sees the clouds of darkness, but the people in general do not understand the import behind the clouds until the clouds are removed, and God through Christ says, Peace! Be Still! — Psalm 107:29; Mark 4:39.

While it could be the clouds of darkness that produce a mournful feeling in men, many scriptures indicate that when all flesh sees the glory of Yahweh (Isaiah 40:5) as being revealed through Jesus and the saints, the world will be mournful. (Isaiah 35:5-10) The judgments of that day will prove to be more tolerable for some than for others. — Matthew 10:15; 11:22,24; Mark 6:11; Luke 10:12,14.

The verse tells us that those that pierced Jesus will be there, which provides further indication that this has its full fulfillment in the resurrection day, the “last day” when the unbelieving world is to blessed with another day of judgment. — John 12:47,48.

Repentance is also associated with mournfulness (Joel 2:12), so the mournfulness being spoken of in Revelation 1:7 could be regarding repentance upon realization of the truths being revealed at that time. The next age will then be in full operation, the great deceiver abyssed, and mankind will then be enabled to understand. — Isaiah 2:2-4; 11:9; Habakkuk 2:14; Joel 2:2; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Isaiah 25:7; 29:24; Revelation 12:9; 20:1-4.

Related RL Studies

1 Peter 3:18 – Jesus Died a Human Being – Raised a Spirit Being

Romans 8:3 – How God’s Son Condemned Sin in the Flesh

End of the World in 1914?

Light, Darkness and the Logos

Astrape in Luke 17:22; Matthew 24:27

Jesus Has Come in the Flesh

Originally published on September 9, 2009; updated and republished on April 22, 2014.

Beginnings in the Bible -r

The Hebrew word “Re’shiyth” [or, reshith], is translated beginning in connection with the creation of the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1), and of the angels before the creation of the heavens and the earth (Proverbs 8:22). The Greek word “arche” [or, arch, arkhe, as some prefer], is translated “beginning” in connection with the creation of the earth and the heavens (Hebrews 1:10), of the world of mankind (John 1:1,2,10), and of the church as God’s new creation (2 Thessalonians 2:13) Neither of these words ever mean eternity, or a beginning in eternity (outside of time, that is, a beginning in the realm where time does not exist), nor that there was no “time” before the “beginning” spoken of, as some try to read that thought into Genesis 1:1; Proverbs 8:22; John 1:1,2; Colossians 1:18; 2 Thessalonians 2:13.

That “resheth” means any beginning, but never means eternity — without time, or eternal duration before the beginning spoken of — is evident from the following verses: Deuteronomy 11:12; 21:17; Job 8:7; 42:12; Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 1:7; 17:14; Ecclesiastes 7:8; Isaiah 46:10; Jeremiah 26:1; 28:1; Micah 1:13. That “arche” means any beginning, but never means eternity — without time, or eternal duration before the beginning spoken of — is evident from the following passages: Matthew 19:4,8; 24:8,21; Mark 1:1; Luke 1:2; John 2:11; 6:64; 8:25,44; 16:4; Acts 11:15; Philippians 4:15; Hebrews 1:10; 3:14; 7:3; 2 Peter 3:4; 1 John 1:1; 2:7,13,14,24; 3:8,11; 2 John 5,6; Revelation 1:8; 3:14.

Therefore, we understand that in Genesis 1:1; Proverbs 8:22; John 1:1,2; Colossians 1:15,18 , and 2 Thessalonians 2:13, several different beginnings of God’s creative work may be referred to, at different points in time. There may be some dispute in the exact order of these beginnings, but we believe that they were as follows:

Of course, for God there was no beginning. “Blessed be Yahweh, the God of Israel, From everlasting and to everlasting! Amen and amen.” (Psalm 41:13) He is “from everlasting to everlasting”. (Psalm 90:2) There was a time when he was all alone. Being alone he began his creative work, we believe, first, by bring the material universe into existence. Thus the “beginning” for the actual physical heavens and the physical earth — the material universe, was before the six days of creation referred to in Exodus 20:11; 31:17. — Nehemiah 9:6; Psalm 8:3; Isaiah 44:24.

The first beginning of any living creation is that of the spirit creature referred to as the Logos, also referred to as the wisdom of God. — “Yahweh had constituted me [Wisdom] the beginning of his way, before his works [that being referred to in context, the earth, mountains, etc.], at the commencement of that time; At the outset of the ages, had I been established, in advance of the antiquities of the earth [not necessarily the planet earth itself, but the ‘earth’ referred to in Genesis 1:1,10; Exodus 20:11; 31:17. The physical universe probably already had been in existence, although most likely without the order in it as we know today. — Isaiah 44:24]; When there was no resounding deep, I had been brought forth, when there were no fountains, abounding with water;” (Proverbs 8:22-24, Rotherham) What of the expression “beginning of his way”? Did Yahweh have a beginning? Was there ever a beginning of Yahweh’s way? We have already said that Yahweh never had a beginning, so how could there be a beginning of Yahweh’s “way”? Evidently “way” here is in reference to Yahweh’s creation, especially that of his creation pertaining to the earth, as can be seen from the context. Thus notice these translations: “The LORD made me as the beginning of His way, the first of His works of old.” (Jewish Publication Society – 1917) “The Lord brought me forth as the first of his works, before his deeds of old.” (New International Version).

Was God’s attribute of ‘wisdom’ “brought forth” at some time? No, his attribute of wisdom has always been. It did not need to be brought forth. Thus Proverbs 8:22 refers to a person, Jesus, and not to God’s attribute of wisdom, since God’s attribute of wisdom has always existed. Earlier in Proverbs 8 Wisdom is being personified as an attribute; however beginning with verse 8 we see a change in its application from an attribute to a person who actually had a beginning, who was “brought forth” before there were oceans and seas, before there were mountains and hills, before the earth [land area, not the planet — Genesis 1:10] and fields were made. Thus we read of “Christ Jesus, who was made to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption.” — 1 Corinthians 1:30.
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See Frank Shallieu’s book, Portions of the Book of Proverbs, discussion on Proverbs Chapter 8. This book is available on the Bible Students’ DVD Library
http://www.heraldmag.org/cdromad.htm

Thus we read that Jesus is the “The firstborn of every creature.” (Colossians 1:15 — the context of this verse shows that this is referring to the living creation in heaven and on earth.) “The beginning of the creation of God.” — Revelation 3:14, See Objection 1, below.

Another beginning alluded to in scripture is the beginning of other spirit creatures, such as the angels. The physical universe in some fashion probably already existed before the creation of the spirit beings. (Isaiah 44:24) We know from Job that the spirit beings were created and had their beginning before man, and before the “earth” as referred to in Genesis 1:1,10. — Job 38:7; compare: Hebrews 1:7; Ezekiel 28:11-19.

Then we have the beginning that refers to the ordering of the physical heavens and the earth; this is called the beginning of the heavens (sky) and the earth as the world in which man lives, the famed six days of creation. — John 1:1,2,10; Genesis 1:1; 2:1-4; Exodus 20:11; 31:17; Matthew 19:4,5; 2 Peter 3:4.

There are also other beginnings that are relative to a creative process. One of these (Colossians 1:18) in point of time is God’s Son as the beginning of the those being born from the dead. — Acts 13:33-37; Hebrews 1:3-5; Revelation 1:5.

Likewise another beginning (2 Thessalonians 2:13) in point of time is the period from Pentecost 33 onward when the disciples were anointed with the holy spirit, as God began the generation of the new creation of the church, Christ’s body. — 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15; Ephesians 2:10,15; 4:24; Colossians 3:10; James 1:18.

Accordingly, the words “reshith” and “arche”, used in respect to creation, refer to starting points of new and various creative periods, and, of course, do not mean eternity, but to bring to our attention the first starts of distinctive creative periods of various creatures of God.
See also Paul S. L. Johnson’s book, Creation, pages 35,36.

Objection 1

It is claimed by some that “beginning” in Revelation 3:14 is a title meaning source or one who begins, i.e. Creator. It is also claimed that Jesus is called the arche in the sense of “ruler,” in Col. 1:18. Some claim that the Greek word *arche* should be translated as “origin” rather “beginning” in Revelation 3:14. Thus some translations present this verse accordingly: “prime source of all God’s creation.” (New Enlgish Bible translation) “The source through whom God’s creation came.” (Knox) “The beginner of God’s creation.” (Williams, Goodspeed) “The Origin and Beginning and Author of God’s creation.” (Amplified New Testament) In all these translations, however, it should be pointed out that the one being spoken of still represented as a different person from God, and thus not God himself.

It is further claimed that *arche*, as used in Revelation 3:14, means “ruler” of God’s creation. We are given the following scriptures where the plural of arche (archai) is used in sense of rulers (as having principality, or first place over others): Luke 12:11; 20:20; Romans 8:38; 1 Corinthians 15:24; Ephesians 1:21; 3:12; 6:12; Colossians 1:16; 2:10, 15, Titus 3:1. Jude 1:6. We do not deny that the Greek word *arche* can be used figuratively of ones in authority [based on the sense of first position, or the higher positions in the realm being spoken of], but is that what is meant in Revelation 3:14? In Revelation 3:14, what we have is one who is spoken of as “the beginning” of God’s creation. It is not a possessive nominative followed by what is possessed, as it should be if it meant “ruler” of God’s creation. Similar Greek construction of *arche* can be found in Mark 10:6; 13:19 and 2 Peter 3:4, where beginning refers, not to a person, but a point in time when the creation of the world of mankind started. There is no doubt in these verses that *arche* does not mean “ruler”. Usually the word *arche* is translated as “beginning” except in those cases where the context shows that figurative meaning of the word is meant. There is no reason to think that in Revelation 3:14 there should be any different translation, except that one, in keeping with preconceived beliefs, would like for this scripture to say other than what it says, that Jesus is the first creation of God.

Below we present the translations in the King James Version of the Greek arch (arkee, arche) in italics.
This list has been obtained from:
http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/nas/arche.html
Thayer and Smith. “Greek Lexicon entry for Arche”. “The KJV New Testament Greek Lexicon”

The reader may see how the word is used throughout the New Testament. Please note how John 1:1 and Revelation 3:14 use the word “beginning” in common usage. Also note especially Matthew 24:21, Mark 10:6, and 2 Peter 3:4, wherein the beginning of creation is referring to the beginning of the world of mankind. By studying the various uses of the Greek word arch, the reader may be properly informed.

  • Mt 19:4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
  • Mt 19:8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.
  • Mt 24:8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
  • Mt 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be
  • Mr 1:1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;
  • Mr 10:6 But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.
  • Mr 13:8 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows.
  • Mr 13:19 For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be.
  • Lu 1:2 Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word;
  • Lu 12:11 And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say:
  • Lu 14:9 And he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room. [[We could not find any occurrence of arche in this verse.]]
  • Lu 20:20 And they watched him, and sent forth spies, which should feign themselves just men, that they might take hold of his words, that so they might deliver him unto the power and authority of the governor.
  • Joh 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
  • Joh 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.
  • Joh 2:11 This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.
  • Joh 6:64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.
  • Joh 8:25 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning.
  • Joh 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
  • Joh 15:27 And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.
  • Joh 16:4 But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you.
  • Ac 10:11 And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:
  • Ac 11:5 I was in the city of Joppa praying: and in a trance I saw a vision, A certain vessel descend, as it had been a great sheet, let down from heaven by four corners; and it came even to me:
  • Ac 11:15 And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning.
  • Ac 26:4 My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews;
  • Ro 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
  • 1Co 15:24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
  • Eph 1:21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
  • Eph 3:10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,
  • Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
  • Php 4:15 Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only.
  • 2Th 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth
  • Tit 3:1 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,
  • Heb 1:10 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:
  • Heb 2:3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;
  • Heb 3:14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;
  • Heb 5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
  • Heb 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
  • Heb 7:3 Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.
  • 2Pe 3:4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
  • 1Jo 1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;
  • 1Jo 2:7 Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning.
  • 1Jo 2:13 I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father.
  • 1Jo 2:14 I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.
  • 1Jo 2:24 Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.
  • 1Jo 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
  • 1Jo 3:11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
  • 2Jo 1:5 And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another.
  • 2Jo 1:6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.
  • Jude 1:6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
  • Re 1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
  • Re 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
  • Re 21:6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
  • Re 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

Note that *arche* is not used as partitive genitive construction in Luke 12:11; Romans 8:38; 1 Corinthians 15:24; Ephesians 1:21; 3:10; 6:12; Colossians 1:16; 2:10,15; Titus 3:1; Jude 1:6. In each of these verses, the word *arche* is used in the context where words are used describing authority or power (such is not the case in Revelation 3:14), and it is clear from the context that “beginning” of something is not what is meant. Luke 20:20 is genitive, but it is apparent that is not speaking of a beginning of something. Nevertheless, the normal word used for “ruler” is the Greek word *archwn* (Strong’s #758). If “ruler” was meant in Revelation 3:14, it would seem likely that this word would have been used rather than *arche*, as it is used in Revelation 1:5.

Despite the fact that the Greek word *arche* is sometimes translated “magistrate”, “power”, or “ruler”, note that in the writings of John, the King James Version consistently translates the Greek word *arche* as “beginning.”

As far as coming up with the idea that “arche” in Revelation 3:14 means “originator” or “source”, one has to look outside the New Testament Greek for such usage, for in the New Testament one cannot find such usage anywhere. Indeed, translators who wish to make arche mean “origin” (as meaning “originator”) or “source”, etc., only choose to do so in Revelation 3:14 (and some have suggested the same for John 1:1), whereas they usually translate “arche” as “beginning” in all the same places where the King James Version does so. Indeed, the same can be said about those translators who wish to translate these verses with anything but “beginning”. Therefore, it can be seen that they are translating these two verses to suit their doctrine.

Finally we will provide a few quotes from various scholars concerning Revelation 3:14:

The word properly refers to the commencement of a thing, not its authorship, and denotes properly primacy in time, and primacy in rank, but not primacy in the sense of causing anything to exist. . . . The word is not, therefore, found in the sense of authorship, as denoting that one is the beginning of anything in the sense that he caused it to have an existence. … If it were demonstrated from other sources that Christ was, in fact, a created being, and the first that God had made, it cannot be denied that this language would appropriately express that fact. — Albert Barnes’ /Notes on the New Testament, p. 1569.)

A check of all the occurrences in NT of arkhe followed by a genitive expression…show that it always denotes a beginning or first part of something. — Greg Stafford, Jehovah’s Witnesses Defended, An Answer to Scolars and Critics, First edition, page 109.

In the NT archē occurs 53 times, and 26 of these must have the meaning “beginning,” because they are preceeded by a preposition (as “from the beginning”). In 8 instances (123) the word occurs in a genitive construction, where the meaning is also, clearly, “beginning.” In 6 instances (124) the meaning “beginning” is also appropriate. In 2 instance (125) it has the meaning “corner.” In 11 instances … archē has the meaning “government” or “ruler.” The final uses of this word are in Colossians 1:18 and Revelation 3:14, which are both theologically significant.

From the above it is clear that archē, in more that 75% of its occurrences, means “beginning.” Apart from “corner,” which also is a “beginning,” the word is used in some sense connected with “government.” The word archē, with the meaning “source,” is nowhere attested in the NT, and 7 of the instances with the meaning “government” are in the plural. Also, the four singular occurrences with this meaning are qualified, either by “every” (1 Cor 15:24: Eph 1:21; Col 2:10) or by a genitive construction (Luke 20:20).
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Footnote 123: Matthew 24:8; Mark 1:1; 13:8,19; Hebrews 5:12; 6:1; 7:3; 2 Peter 3:4.
Footnote 124: John 8:25; Jude 1:6; Hebrews 2:3; 3:14; Revelatin 21:6; 22:13. In several of these texts there is a contrast between the “beginning” and the “end.”
Footnote 125: Acts 19:11; 11:15
—–Rolf Furuli, The Role of Theology and Bias in Bible Translation, 1999.

For more information on refutation of the trinity/oneness doctrines, see our site: Jesus and His God
http://jesus-rlbible.com/

Links to Various Sites

We offer these links for further study along the lines that we present above. While the authors present some good information that does agree with our statements, we do not necessarily agree with all of their conclusions.

Some comments by JW Greg Stafford at BGreek:
http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/b-greek/2001-May/016793.html
http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/b-greek/2001-May/016795.html
http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/b-greek/2001-May/016796.html
http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/b-greek/2001-May/016797.html
http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek/test-archives/html4/2001-05/5495.html
http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek/test-archives/html4/2001-05/5509.html
http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek/test-archives/html4/2001-05/5511.html
http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek/test-archives/html4/2001-05/5512.html
http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek/test-archives/html4/2001-05/5513.html

Updated slightly, October 24, 2006.

John 1:1 – In the Beginning; Genesis 1:1 (RL Jesus and His God Link)

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
Genesis 1:1

“In the beginning was the LOGOS, and the LOGOS was with TON THEON, and the LOGOS was theos.” — John 1:1; transliterations obtained from Westcott & Hort Interlinear

Unless otherwise noted, all quotations from the Holy Bible are from the World English bible translation.

We will, in this study, examine what is the “beginning” spoken of in Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1, as well as what is included in the “panta” [all things] spoken of in John 1:3. One claims: “By saying that the Word was in the beginning, John implies that the Logos already existed before the beginning talked about in Gen 1:1, namely, the beginning of created reality. This means that the Logos must be uncreated and eternal.” This is usually the concept that most apply to the word “beginning” in John 1:1 and Genesis 1:1, and then, from this it is assumed the the Logos had no beginning.

One might say that the word “beginning” refers to the beginning of creation, which is true, but then we need to ask: What creation? One might say the creation of the “heavens and the earth”, as spoken of in Genesis 1:1. But then, we need to ask, What is included in the heavens and earth that is spoken of there? Does it include the heavens where the angels are who always see the face of God? (Matthew 18:10) Doesn’t Job 38:4-7 speak the angels as “sons of God”, and thus show that they were already in existence before the beginning of the heavens and the earth of Genesis 1:1? Was the heaven wherein God’s throne exists ever created? — Isaiah 66:1; Matthew 5:34.

What was the general thought of the New Testament writers when they spoke of the “beginning” of creation, or of the world? We need to examine some scriptures to see, and thereby compare spiritual with spiritual. — 1 Corinthians 2:13.

The first scripture we will examine is Matthew 19:4:

He answered, “Haven’t you read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female, …”

We can learn from this that Jesus associated “the beginning” with the time of the creation of Adam and Eve. This agrees with Exodus 20:11: “In six days Yahweh made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them.” This shows that the “beginning” spoken of in Genesis 1:1 is the six days that are described in Genesis 1:3 through Genesis 2:1. Adam and Eve’s creation was on the last of the six days of creation in which God created the heavens and the earth. Thus, the “beginning” spoken of in Genesis 1:1 is regarding the six days of creation.

However, do these six days include the creation of the planet earth, the sun, the moon, the stars and the angels? No. Let us see why this is so.

Before getting into the creation of the heavens and the earth — the six days — we read: “the earth was formless and empty.” (Genesis 1:2) It should be apparent here that “earth” is referring to the planet. The planet earth already “was” before the first day of creation, thus before the beginning spoken of in Genesis 1:1, as verified by Exodus 20:11. Thus, “earth” in verse 1, which refers to the six days of creation, must mean something different than the planet earth.

So what was the “earth” that is spoken of that was ccreated in the “beginning”? Genesis 1:9,10 tells us:

God said, “Let the waters under the sky be gathered together to one place, and let the dry land appear,” and it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters he called Seas. God saw that it was good.

Notice that was not the planet that was created on the third day, but dry land. This is the “earth” that was created in the beginning spoken of in verse one. “Earth” in the Bible, however, also designates the society of people who are living on the dry land. We read that “The earth also was corrupt before God.” (Genesis 6:11) Does this mean that the planet itself was corrupt? No, it is speaking of mankind and his society upon the earth: “the earth was filled with violence.” And:

And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. — Genesis 6:13.

Here God says he will destroy all flesh with the earth. Did he mean that the planet earth would be no more? No, but he did destroy the order of things that man had made upon the earth. Thus, we should be able to see that the word “earth” can refer to the human society on the planet earth, and not to the planet itself.

Likewise, Abraham called Jehovah the “Judge of all the earth.” (Genesis 18:25) Did he mean that the planet itself was to be judged by Yahweh? No, he is speaking of mankind upon the planet. More scriptures could be cited, but these give a basis for showing that the “earth” referred to in Genesis 1:1 is not the planet, but rather the things upon the land.

What about the heavens — what is included in the statement that in the beginning God created the heavens? Very evidently “heavens” does not include the heavens that is God’s throne, and where the angels see the face of God. (Isaiah 66:1; Matthew 5:34; 18:10) The scriptures seem to indicate that the invisible heavens where God throne is has always been. (Psalm 93:2; 103:19; Isaiah 66:1; Acts 7:45) So what heavens is being referred to?

The word “heaven”, like the word “earth”, is used in different ways in the Bible.

The Hebrew word Shamayim, usually rendered “heavens” in Genesis 1:1, is precisely the same word that used in Genesis 1:8. Often it is rendered by many translations in the singular in Genesis 1:8; however, it is plural in both instances in the Hebrew — it is exactly the same word used in both instances. This indicates that “heavens” spoken of as being created in Genesis 1:1, is that expanse, or firmament, that is spoken of in Genesis 1:8. However, as the beginning involves the full of the six days, the heavens includes all that is in these heavens — the hosts of heaven — as seen from the earth, the flying creatures, and even the sun, moon and stars that were made to appear in the fourth day (Genesis 1:14,15; 2:1; Note: We do not understand Genesis 1:14,15 to mean that the sun, moon and stars, as physical bodies, were created on the fourth day, but that they were made to appear in the heavens as seen from the surface of the earth). We should note further that the word “heavens” can also refer to the spiritual ruling powers that had been set in place by God through Jesus, which heavens — spiritual ruling powers, having come under the control of wicked spirits – is to pass away. — Psalm 102:25; Ezekiel 28:12-15; Matthew 4:8,9; John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 2:2; 6:12; Hebrews 1:8,10; 1 John 5:19.
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See: http://jesus.rlbible.com/?p=367

And what about the “beginning” in John 1:1? It is speaking of the beginning of the world of mankind and not the creation of the spirit world or even of the stars and planet systems. (We should take note that there is a single “day” of creation spoken of in Genesis 2:4, which “day” includes the “six days” in which he created the heavens [skies] and the earth [land masses]. — Exodus 20:13; see also Matthew 19:4,5, which refers to the beginning when Adam and Eve were created.) The angels were already in existence in the spirit world at the creation being spoken of. — Job 4:11-17; Mark 10:6.

So we conclude that at the “beginning” spoken of in John 1:1 and Genesis 1:1, the angels were already in existence, as well as the LOGOS. Again, by comparing spiritual with spiritual, we find verification for this in the way the word “beginning” is used in the NT, as related to creation.

In Matthew 24:21, Jesus speaks of the “beginning of the world.”

For then will be great oppression, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, nor ever will be.

Is he here speaking of the world of the angels? No, he is speaking of the world of mankind.

Mark 10:6 makes this even clearer:

But from the beginning of the creation, ‘God made them male and female.’

So the beginning of creation here is not the beginning of the creation of the spirit world; the angels — the spirit sons of God — were already in existence at the creation that Jesus spoke of. — Job 38:4-7; see Job 1:6; 2:1.

Let us also notice some usages of the word “creation” (Hebrew, ktisis; Strong’s #2937) that show that it usually (although not always) was used in the NT times to refer to human creation, and not angels, sun, moon, stars, etc.

Mark 16:15 – He said to them, “Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation.”

The whole creation here does not include the angels, nor the sun, the moon, the stars, etc. The “creation” being spoken of is the human creation. The word translated “whole” in the Greek is “pasee”, a variation of the word “pas”. (Strong’s #3956 — This word is discussed in the latter part of this study.) The usage here further illustrates that “pas” in all its variations does not refer to absolutely everything in the universe. Here it is limited to the human creation, as it is also in John 1:3. It is speaking of the world of mankind into which Jesus came. — John 1:10.

Romans 1:20 – For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse.

It should be obvious here that the “world” being spoken of is the visible world — the world of mankind here on earth, and not the invisible world of the angels, etc.

Romans 8:19 – For the creation waits with eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.
Romans 8:20 – For the creation was subjected to vanity, not of its own will, but by reason of him who subjected it, in hope…

Similarly, it should be apparent that the spirit world is not subjected to the vanity spoken of here, but it is the world of mankind.

Now getting back to the “beginning” spoken of in Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1, by a comparison of spriritual revealment with spiritual revealment we can see that this beginning is not speaking of everything in the entire universe, but it can be seen to be limited especially to the world of mankind, into which Jesus came. It is of the world of mankind that John speaks of John 1:3 as “panta” — all. TON THEON made the all of the world of mankind, through Jesus, and without him none of this world was made.

However, many read in John 1:3 that not one thing was made without the Logos and thus conclude that the “beginning” in John 1:1 refers to the absolute beginning of everything that was created.

John 1:3 – All things [Greek, panta, Strong’s #3956] were made through [Greek, di, Strong’s #1223] him. Without him was not anything [oude hen, Strong’s #3761, 1520] made that has been made.

The word translated “all things” in the Greek is “panta”. Literally, it means “all.” The word “things” is supplied by translators. The word panta is a variation of the word “pas”. This word always looks to context and common evidence for what should be included and what should not be included. It rarely, if ever, means absolutely everything that exists.

If one were to do a search through the NT occurences of variations of the Greek word “pas”, and try to replace it with “absolutely everything in the universe”, one could see it just does not fit. One can do this by using a Greek transliterated text that can be searched. However, it is easier if one searches for Strong’s #3956. The Westcott & Hort text is available online by which one can do such a search.
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http://qbible.com/greek-new-testament/.

Let us look at a few scriptures to demonstrate this principle of evident inclusion and exclusion.

“There went out to him all the country of Judea, and all those [Strong’s 3956] of Jerusalem. They were baptized by him in the Jordan river, confessing their sins.” (Mark 1:5) Pantes [a variation of “pas”] is here rendered “all those”. Does this mean that absolutely every person who lived in the country of Judea and in Jerusalem came to John and was baptized by him? Absolutely not.

Mark 1:5
kai exeporeueto pros auton pasa hee ioudaia
AND WAS GOING THE WAY OUT TOWARD HIM ALL THE JUDEAN
2532 1607 4314 0846_7 3956 3588 2449
chwra kai hoi ierosolumeitai pantes kai
COUNTRY AND THE JERUSALEMITES ALL, AND
5561 2532 3588 2415 3956 2532
ebaptizonto hup autou en tw iordanee potamw
WERE BEING BAPTIZED BY HIM IN THE JORDAN RIVER
0907 5259 0846_3 1722 3588 2446 4215
exomologoumenoi tas hamartias autwn
OPENLY CONFESSING THE SINS OF THEM.
1843 3588 0266 0846_92
Westcott & Hort Interlinear, as obtained from the Bible Students Library DVD

To make greater sense in English, this would be better rendered: “And there went to him those of all the land of Judea, and Jerusalemites. All these were baptized by him in the Jordan River, openly confessing their sins.” The Good News Translation, although it is paraphrased, captures the sense by expressing it: “Many people from the province of Judea and the city of Jerusalem went out to hear John. They confessed their sins, and he baptized them in the Jordan River.”

“And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables.” (Mark 4:11, King James Version) Here in the KJV, the phrase “ta panta” [literally, ‘the all’] is shown as “all these things”. This is a good example of how qualifiers added by translators may help the reader understand the usage of the word “all”. Not only did the KJV translators add the word “things”, but they also added the word “these”.

“With Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They shall make known unto you all [Strong’s 3956] things which are done here.” (Colossians 4:9) Here it is evident from the context that “all” is limited the things “which are done here.” The word “things” in English is added by the KJV translators.

And then we have the example of the usage of “ta panta” in Hebrews 2:8, where Paul quotes Psalm 8 regarding mankind: “‘You have put all things in subjection under his feet.’ For in that he subjected all things to him [man], he left nothing that is not subject to him [man]. But now we don’t see all things subjected to him, yet.” What are the “all things” — ta panta: the all — that was subjected to mankind? Psalm 8:7 answers: “All sheep and oxen, Yes, and the animals of the field, The birds of the sky, the fish of the sea, And whatever passes through the paths of the seas.” (See Genesis 1:26,28) It is evident that ta panta here does not mean absolutely everything in the universe, but that it includes all the things being spoken of that was subjected to man.

In Colossians 1:20 we read that through Jesus, God is reconciling “all things” [ta panta] to himself, “whether things on earth or things in heaven.” Does this mean that absolutely everything in the universe is out of harmony with God, and thus through Jesus absolutely everything in the universe needs to be reconciled to God? Does this mean that the obedient angels need to be reconciled with God? Does this mean that Satan himself will be reconciled with God? The things that come to peace with God directly through the blood of Jesus is man, first of all the seed of Abraham, and then those take of the waters of life in the millennium. (Romans 5:12-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22) However, Jesus and his joint-heirs especially, will not only rule over mankind, but also over the angels — over all dominions, so that eventually all must either repent and come into harmony with God, or else be destroyed. The end result is that all creation then remaining both in heaven and earth that had been out of harmony with God will be reconciled to God, but the point is that the term “all things” does not totally refer to absolutely everything in the universe, since not all things in the universe are out of harmony with God so that they would need to be reconciled.
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See also:
http://www.heraldmag.org/archives/1941_11.htm#_Toc31126780

Therefore, The word panta (as well as all the variations of the Greek pas — Strong’s Greek #3956) is used in connection with what is spoken of, thus all the things of which we are speaking. It does not necessarily mean absolutely everything that exists, else God himself would have to be included.
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http://bible.crosswalk.com/Lexicons/NewTestamentGreek/grk.cgi?number=3956.

So we conclude that the word panta (usually translated in John 1:3 as “all things”) and the words “oude hen” (usually translated as “not one thing”) need to be viewed relative to what is being spoken of, that is, the world of mankind into which the Logos came and was not recognized by. (John 1:10; 17:5) The words “things” and “thing” are supplied by the translators. Without adding the supplied word “things” and “thing”, the verse would read: “All through him came to be, and without him not one came to be.”

Now, regarding the phrase “not one thing”. A similar usage may be found in Hebrews 2:8 (already discussed above), in connection with his quotation from Psalm 8:5,6. Paul is referring to the subjection of “all things” to mankind. And then he says “For in that he [God] subjected all things to him [man], he left nothing that is not subject to him.” In saying that God left nothing that is not subject to man, did Paul mean that there is nothing in the whole universe that was not made subject to man? Absolutely, not! Paul is speaking concerning realm of the earth. And this is what can be seen from Psalm 8:6-8:

Psalm 8:6 You make him ruler over the works of your hands. You have put all things under his feet: Psalm 8:7 All sheep and oxen, Yes, and the animals of the field, Psalm 8:8 The birds of the sky, the fish of the sea, And whatever passes through the paths of the seas.

Likewise, by context, and from the rest of the scriptures, we can determine that “not one thing” in John 1:3 refers the creation of the world of mankind, not to everything in the universe.

Having all this evidence from what is revealed through the holy spirit in the scriptures, it is our conclusion that the “beginning” spoken of in Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1 is not pertaining to the angels, nor even to the physical earth, stars and planets; that these were already in existence at the “beginning” spoken of both in John 1:1 and Genesis 1:1, and that this beginning refers to the beginning of the world of mankind, as spoken of in John 1:10; 17:5.